Robert E. Lee statue to be melted down into public art

Confederate Statues Charlottesville
Posted at 2:37 PM, Dec 07, 2021

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville will take on the project of melting down the Robert E. Lee statue.

In a press release, the heritage center said it's raising funds for the project, which they've named Swords into Plowshares. The group says the piece will help determine how inclusion can be represented through art and public space.

The group received approval Monday after the Charlottesville City Council voted on it.

"Swords into Plowshares offers Charlottesville--and the nation--the chance to transform our trauma into renewal through art," the group said. "We hope this process may become a model for other communities hoping to heal from racial violence."

The group says the project will cost more than $1 million, and they've already raised $550,000.

The statue once stood in downtown Charlottesville before it was taken down after a woman died during a demonstrating against the "Unite the Right" rally in 2018.